Edinburgh is a remarkably dog-friendly city, so here's a mini celebration of five of the city's canines - some famous, some not so famous...
The legend of this so-called most faithful friend is (shhhh!) probably more fiction that fact, but the grave and monument to Bobby at Greyfriars is nevertheless a popular attraction for city visitors.
Despite multiple requests from Edinburgh council urging visitors (and the guides who lead them) not to rub Bobby's nose for good luck, people are continuing with this unfortunate 'tradition' - the cost to repair damage to the statue costs the city thousands of pounds a year, so please resign yourself to a life free of superstition, or rub the toe of David Hume instead.
The Scott Monument on Princes Street is the world's tallest monument to a writer, and at the side of John Steell's statue of Scott in the centre of the monument is the sleek figure of his deerhound Maida.
Scott's canine associations are also linked to the breed called Dandie Dinmonts, which were named for a character in Scott's novel Guy Mannering - after a period where the breed is believed to have become almost extinct, it has been suggested that all modern Dandie Dinmonts are descendants of a dog owned by Scott himself.
Just as Edinburgh has Bobby, the city of San Diego in California has a similar vagabond dog in its history. Bum was a stray who survived on the goodwill and charity of market traders in the city in the 1880s, and survived a railway accident which left him without half of one of his forelegs.
In the 1970s, Edinburgh and San Diego were officially twinned, and reciprocal statues of each city's famous dog were exchanged. Edinburgh's statue of Bum can be found just off King's Stables Road, at the base of the castle rock in West Princes Street Gardens.
James Clerk Maxwell, the influential physicist who took the world's first colour photograph, famously always had a dog who would sit at his feet while he worked. During the long nights when Maxwell was working on his mathematical problems, or the issues of physics that would influence later scientists like Albert Einstein, he would talk aloud to his dog, using the one-way conversation as a way of unravelling his thoughts.
Throughout his life Maxwell had many such companions who supported his influential discoveries, and they were always called Toby. The statue on George Street has a Toby sitting under his master's legs, as he would have done in life.
The childhood pet of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, Coolin was - like Greyfriars Bobby - a Skye terrier.
This statue of young Stevenson and his canine friend can be found in the village of Colinton, a short drive or bus ride from the city centre, alongside the Water of Leith.
Stevenson was often in this area because of his grandfather's connection as minister of the nearby church, and he is celebrated with a heritage trail through this picturesque and historic suburb of the city.
Explore Edinburgh with my private city walking tours - get in touch for more information!
Edinburgh Expert Walking Tours is run by Gareth, an adopted native of Edinburgh, with over 20 years experience of living and working in the city...
Search the blog archive...
© COPYRIGHT GARETH DAVIES 2014-22